Reading, writing and no indoor plumbing: New book recounts history of Leverett's one-room schoolhouses

  • Children at Leverett Center School. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Children at Long Plain Schol in Leverett. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Children at Moore’s Corner School in Leverett. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/3/2021 12:39:04 PM

LEVERETT — Reflections from students who attended Leverett’s one-room schoolhouses, which often had no indoor plumbing and heat provided only by wood stoves, are included in a recently published book available for checkout through the Leverett Library.

“10-to-1, Interviews with Leverett Scholars Who Attended One-Room Schoolhouses” is a 319-page book printed by Off The Common Books/Levellers Press.

Publication of the oral history was delayed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Ann Tweedy, a member of the Leverett Historical Commission.

Tweedy, in partnership with former Leverett Library Director Natane Halasz, sought a Go Local grant through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to cover the costs.

Included in the book are photos and transcribed audio interviews with former students Lois Mono, Richard Stratford, Leighton LaClaire, Wayne LaClaire, Viola Williams Black, Bernice Howard Glazier, Marcia LaClaire Sims, Marjorie and Lee Glazier, Hilda Williams, Charles Roys, Betty Glazier House, Charlotte Abbott and Shirley Lashway.

Students in Alyson Bull’s sixth grade class at Leverett Elementary School three years ago conducted the interviews, facilitated by Leverett Historical Commission members Edie Field, Susan Mareneck and Sara Robinson.

Transcription was completed by Helen Kyriakodes and Devon King, public history students at the University of Massachusetts, using the audio recordings from the historical commission’s “A Sense of Where You Are” project. Those audio recordings are also available on the town’s website.

Tweedy said the books may eventually be sold as a fundraiser but can currently only be obtained through curbside pickup at the library and interlibrary loan. Materials used, including pictures and documents, are expected to also be part of the town’s 250th birthday celebrations in 2024.

At one time, the one-room schoolhouses served neighborhoods of East Leverett, Central Leverett, Cave Hill, Dudleyville and North Leverett. Some of the buildings continue to stand, either as private residences or, in the case of the Moore’s Corner Schoolhouse, as a town museum.

In 1950, the Leverett Elementary School opened as a consolidated school with a cafeteria, an auditorium and four rooms, each with two grades.

The book is dedicated to Lee and Marjorie Glazier of Hemenway Road, who died in 2019 and 2020, respectively, after making their home in the former Coke Kiln School.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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